The right to liberty and security is a fundamental human right recognized by international law and enshrined in various human rights instruments and constitutions worldwide. It is an essential aspect of personal freedom and protection from arbitrary detention or unlawful interference with an individual's life and privacy. The right to liberty and security can be found in several key international documents, including:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) - Article 3:
"Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person."
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) - Article 9:
"Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law."
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) - Article 5:
"Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law."
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) - Article 6:
"Every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law."
The right to liberty and security protects individuals from arbitrary arrest, detention, or imprisonment without proper legal justification or due process. It also safeguards against forced disappearances, torture, and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
However, the right to liberty and security is not an absolute right and may be limited in certain circumstances, such as when a person poses a threat to public safety, national security, or when lawfully convicted of a crime by a competent court.
It is crucial for governments to respect and protect this right, ensuring that any restriction on liberty and security is in accordance with the law and pursued for legitimate and justifiable reasons. Individuals have the right to challenge any arbitrary deprivation of liberty through legal means and have their cases reviewed by an impartial and independent tribunal.